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Do Bloggers Have Influence?

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There really is so much to say on the topic. Perhaps reader comments will help me elaborate. I’ve written before about how blogs have influenced me to make purchases, be giving, try a new recipe, craft, or have a more positive outlook.

But yesterday and today, I have had TWO experiences where my blog, and more importantly, my READERS, have been an “influencer.”

1) Yesterday I wrote about car seat safety - that is, keeping your infant/toddler rear-facing until at least 2 or until the seat’s height/weight limits. I was amazed at the response I got from readers. On a non-giveaway post I have already gotten FIFTEEN comments about this topic (that is huge for me!). Many of my readers already knew about the new AAP car seat recommendations and were appreciative I was writing to spread the word. Thank you, my readers, for being responsive and supportive!

2) Today I received a comment on my review of B. Toys. From the “Chief Toymaker” (don’t you love that title!). First, I am honored members of the company are reading what I write. But more importantly, a reader made a comment on my post suggesting a feature of one toy could be improved for safety reasons. As a result, the Chief Toymaker responded positively to the suggestion saying:

We strive every day to B. good to kids, their parents and our planet. We take a mom’s suggestion truly to heart because long before we are toy makers…..we are parents first!

All our toys pass or exceed all USA, Canadian, and even the more stringent European safety tests. Sugar Chute does too. Still, we will round the corners because it’s the right thing to do.

The change to rounded corners on the door won’t happen until Fall shipments of Sugar Chute. But when it does, you’ll know YOU affected a toy design. (emphasis mine)

Sometimes people might think product reviewing is all about bloggers getting “free stuff.” But, to me, it’s more about helping parents find the “right stuff,” becoming aware of health and safety products, and forming a community where my readers can pitch in with their knowledge and expertise via the comments, and help parents make good choices about products.

These two instances are just my own examples of the fact that, yes, blogs have influence. In a very positive way.

When have you been influenced (to make purchases, try new things, change your lifestyle, etc.) by a blog / my blog? If you blog, when have you experienced the ability to have a positive influence? I would love to hear about it!

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stacy hancockMarch 9, 2011 - 8:18 am

great post, dear!!

Julie KMarch 6, 2011 - 11:52 pm

As I already emailed (but realized that response does not get automatically put on this blog). I understand the conflict of feelings on this topic. I think that is why bloggers do need to focus more on the REVIEW part – our experiences in daily life with the product and less so on the “regurgitation” of facts from the company website. A few points don’t hurt but, readers want the inside scoop from us! And those are the kinds of reviews I will actually read as well… not the ones that look cut/pasted from a press release or website! :)

How you feel is totally understandable! :)

SusanMarch 6, 2011 - 4:03 pm

I’m really torn. I think bloggers definitely do have influence. However, I am seeing so many blogs become basically big commercials. When I see that, I tend to go on, because that type writing just doesn’t interest me (and truly, I mean no offense to those who love it!).
The other day my sister was asking me about good book recommendations. I asked her whether she didn’t read the book reviews on my blog, and she said, “Yeah – but I don’t take them that seriously because I figure you got the stuff for free.” Okay, I was a bit offended :) But, I see her point and I find that I don’t take blog rec’s all that seriously – even though I do them myself. How’s that for some conflicted feelings?!

AmandaMarch 4, 2011 - 9:58 pm

I think they definitely do. In this digital age we turn to the internet more than ever.

Crunchy Beach MamaMarch 4, 2011 - 5:56 pm

I think we all definitely influence each other and love to hear from “non bloggers” about items I find, ideas I share, etc so I know it does reach a lot of people!
Crunchy Beach Mama recently posted..The Great Cloth Diaper Line-Up!

The Trophy WifeMarch 4, 2011 - 8:39 am

I love this! You hit it right on the head. I think when we all set out on our own blogging journeys that we don’t realize how influential we can become. Not only that, but I don’t think that we realize the ability to make so many personal connections to people that we’ve never met! It is a wonderful community to be involved in. I am proud of my fellow blogger friends…especially ones like you that really make a difference in us all. Thank you for what you do!
The Trophy Wife recently posted..Thunderstruck Thursday – Penguin

LizMarch 3, 2011 - 11:52 pm

Reviews and parenting posts are what helped me as a new mom to make decisions on what to buy, what to avoid, what to look for like BPA and stuff. Blog Moms are like sisters to me! I have found lots of new recipes and have found my crafty side!
I know my reviews have helped a company or two as well. I know bloggers are vital to product improvement and new ideas for companies.

Aprile MazeyMarch 3, 2011 - 8:32 pm

Following you back! This is a great post and when I see blog posts that are about items that are relevant to me, I always read them through. Being a parent, reading reviews is the only way to go and blogger reviews are the best. I found many different toys for my daughter as well as recipes that I now love from blogs.

T Rex MomMarch 3, 2011 - 4:45 pm

I think my biggest influence in the blogging world is regarding cloth diapers. There is a huge community of cloth diaper families that also blog. And hearing about their experiences and learning from them as totally helped me master the art.

And I’ve definitely been influenced to make purchases – especially from etsy. I am trying really hard to give business to WAHMs and US companies and less to the big corporations like Toys R Us and Wal-Mart. I’ve learned about some of my favorite etsy stores that I keep purchasing from just by reading reviews online on blogs.

Thank you for making a difference and I am so glad you are in the blogging world.

Stephanie SeidenMarch 3, 2011 - 1:59 pm

We love our B. toys! It is one of the few plastic toys I actually enjoy looking at and that my son returns to again and again. After seeing the company’s response I love them even more.

Allison BeasleyMarch 3, 2011 - 1:15 pm

There is ABSOLUTELY no doubt that bloggers have a ton of influence. Everyday I make decisions with the help of others; whether it is what to eat for dinner or to buy the new iPad 2. Bloggers have more power than they realize even if they have a small audience!
Allison Beasley recently posted..Weekly Target Sales February 26 Search Review – TGT Stock Price Up Slightly to 5246

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